The first to write about geology was Francis Bacon in Novanum Organum, which noted that the continents fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, though he offered no further explanation. In 1650, James Ussher (1581–1656), the Irish Archbishop of Armagh, wrote the Annals of the World in which he calculated the earth was created in 4004 BC. He added the lifespan of all the descendants of Adam to calculate the time of creation.
Later, John Woodward, in his Essay Toward a Natural History of the Earth (1695), claimed that the biblical flood leveled the entire earth. As the waters receded, masses of earth were thrust upward, and canyons were created. The violence of the receding waters created the strata in our present day. Woodward also concluded that fossils are those that died in flood and extinct animals are not extinct but live at the bottom of the ocean.